Khandu appealed to all indigenous youths of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts (TCL), who have strayed away into insurgency to come back and join the mainstream for a better Arunachal.
“Insurgency is not a solution to any problem. TCL region has suffered a lot due to it. We want peace and we want development,” he said, joining the celebration at the Khonsa General Ground.
He said that under the state government’s surrender policy, all such returnees will be taken care of and helped rejoin the mainstream. Appealing to all strayed youths to come back, surrender and embrace peace, he asserted violence and gun-culture only ends in bloodshed, which nobody wants.
Khandu also took serious note of deaths of innocent civilians in anti-insurgency operations and cited these as serious collaterals of insurgency in the area. He informed that the state’s director general of police has been asked to coordinate with the security forces deployed in the region and evolve a proper SOP to avoid civilian casualties during such operations.
“Both the central and the state governments are serious and committed to bring a solution to this decades-old issue. Peace talks are going on and we put our faith in the central government and all stakeholders to iron out a permanent and peaceful solution sooner than later,” he said.
Recently in a case of mistaken identity the security personnel opened fire and injured two civilians in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district.
Observing that the three districts have immense potential for growth of tourism, Khandu assured he would push the central government to open up tourist circuits in the region. He informed that tourist circuits were not offered in TCL by the MHA on the ground that there were not enough police stations in view of providing security to visitors.
“This has changed in the last few years. I myself inaugurated several police stations in these three districts in recent times. Hopefully, the central government will accept our request,” he said.
Khandu, however, reminded that boosting tourism in the area and making it a sustainable livelihood will entirely depend upon the local residents. Government, through its various schemes, can just assist but the locals will have to voluntarily put in their efforts if tourism has to flourish, he said.
He called on local entrepreneurs and businessmen to invest in the sector to begin with.
Congratulating the people of eastern Arunachal for having some of the best road networks in the region, Khandu informed of the 27 new road projects worth more than Rs 500 crores recently approved by the union ministry of road, transport and highways for Arunachal Pradesh.
“Villages still unconnected will be connected through PMGSY or any other scheme in the coming years,” he assured.